Household supplies

Remember the napkins I blogged about a couple of months ago? Well, I finally finished them!

Here they are, all finished up!

They’re for sale on our etsy site, in case you’re interested! 😉 Expect to hear from me again on Wednesday with this week’s stitch challenge!



Whenever I give gifts, I usually like to give handmade. Making a gift yourself means that you’ve put thought, time, and effort into the project, and it just makes the item that much more special. I understand that not everyone is crafty, so handmade gifts aren’t always an option (although you can always buy from someone’s etsy store!). Luckily, I’m skilled in a few different crafts, so I can usually whip something up for whomever.

The tutorial that follows was born out of a project I undertook for a dear friend’s Christmas present. I was running a little low on time, so I made these no-sew embellished cloth napkins to give to her.

Quick and cute!

What you’ll need:

4 cloth napkins (Mine were white, but you could always spice it up a bit with colored napkins. I got these at Target.)

1 fat quarter of patterned fabric

1 roll hem tape such as Stitch Witchery

self-healing cutting mat

rotary cutter


sewing gauge


The rotary blade makes precise cutting easy & quick. It's not essential (scissors will work just fine), but it sure takes a lot of work out of the cutting!

Step 1: Measure and cut. You want to first measure the width of the cloth napkin, so you can do the math to figure out how wide you need to cut the patterned fabric. Add one inch to the width of your napkins, and you have the measurement for your fabric! Then, decide how thick you’d like the strip to end up and add an inch to that as well. Easy peasy!

Here’s how I figured out my measurements: The napkins I used measured approximately 16″ across, so I added an inch to that, and determined that my strips needed to be 17″ wide. Then I decided that I wanted the band of contrasting fabric to end up measuring 2 1/2″, so I added an inch to that for a total of 3 1/2″. I cut my four strips 3 1/2″ tall and 17″ wide.

The perspective is wacky, but I promise all four strips are the same size!

Step 2: Fold and iron down the top and bottom edges. Using your sewing gauge, fold the top edge down 1/2″ and iron. Repeat for the bottom edge.

Use the handy dandy sewing gauge to make sure you're only folding down 1/2".

Now you've got clean edges, and you're ready to attach the contrasting band to the napkins!

Step 3: Attach the band to the napkin. Here’s where the Stitch Witchery comes into play. You first need to decide how high up you want your band to go on the napkins. I chose to place the bottom edge of the contrasting band at 1 1/2″ from the bottom edge of the napkin. *You can make your own judgment call, but it’s important to fold the napkin into quarters when choosing where to place the band.* Once you’ve decided, measure and line up the bottom edge of the contrasting band with the height you chose, making sure to move the ruler to the other side of the napkin so that the band will be straight once affixed to the napkin.

Now take the Stitch Witchery, unroll a bit of the hem tape, hold the end of the tape about 1/2″ in from the left edge of the napkin, and cut it about 1/2″ from the right edge. Slide the hem tape under the top edge of the contrasting band and use the iron to fuse the fabric to the napkin, being careful not to let it slip or iron in any creases. Repeat for the bottom edge of the fabric.

Step 4: Fold under and iron the left and right edges of the fabric and attach the ends. There’s no measurement necessary here. All you need to do is fold under the fabric on each end, aligning the crease with the edge of the napkin, and iron (sometimes you might have to trim off a little excess fabric so that the crease will line up). You can then cut a length of hem tape that corresponds to the height of the contrasting band (just hold it and cut it like before), slip it under the fabric, and iron to fuse.

It's all tidy edges now, and you've fused the contrasting band to the napkin, so YOU'RE DONE my friends!

Step 5: Fold the napkin into quarters, and pat yourself on the back. You’re finished! I like to go through the whole process for each individual napkin, but you could also go step-by-step with all four napkins at once, if that’s your style. This is a great project that you can do while watching TV or listening to tunes. Have fun with it. It’s a stress-free project!

(Optional) Step 6: Use your sewing machine and a cute decorative stitch to thoroughly tack down top and bottom. You can use the zigzag or another decorative stitch to add a little extra flair to your napkins. It’s not necessary to do this because Stitch Witchery will not wash away, but you may want to do it anyway if you’re the nervous or meticulous type.

Voila! Adorable napkins for you or a friend!!

I know, I know–it’s been far too long since I’ve posted on this blog!

This is what I looked like the last time I posted...

...and this is what I look like now.

But Regan and I have collectively resolved to be more consistent with our posting, and we’re shooting for a post a week. We’ve also discussed starting a tumblr blog for quick, daily updates. Do any of you use tumblr? If so, would you recommend it? Any advice??

Ok, enough of the apologetics! I want to share my newest stitching project. As Regan mentioned in her last post, I have just (finally!) finished a large project involving seven tea towels featuring adapted designs I created, based on Alberto Vargas pinups from my buyer’s personal collection.

All seven of the girls, strategically positioned for those with delicate sensibilities.

That was a delightful project, and thoroughly rewarding, but needless to say, it basically consumed my craft-life for quite some time. That said, I’m embarking upon my first new stitching project in months, and it feels gooood!

I’ve had an idea for confusion-free cocktail napkins for months now, and finally, last week, officially set the ball in motion. My big idea was to number the napkins. No two are alike, and as long as you can remember your number, you never have to worry about wiping your mouth on anybody else’s napkin and, perhaps more importantly, protects your napkin from devious “nakkin thieves” (that’s what they call themselves–I didn’t just make that up).

First, I had to identify the font I wanted, and then I sketched the designs.

Then I reversed the patterns and scanned them. From there, I resized them appropriately to fit the napkins (it took a few tries).

A little trial and error.

Then I traced my scans with the wonder-pen, which turns any design into an iron-on (the SuperSweet Sulky pen!), and then fill in any gaps in the pattern with the OTHER wonder-pen, which disappears magically with just a dab of water (the blue pen in the background, made by various companies):

The Sulky pen, in all its glory.

Then…..I stitch! I’ve chosen to outline all the numbers in black and use six different jewel-hued duo-tones for the accents.

Just the beginning!

Keep your eyes peeled for more progress! And, in the meantime, here’s a recent shot of our old friend Judy the Orts Jar, who is getting rather full…

My little Judy's growing up!

‘Til soon!

Inspired by a post I’d seen on Stitchin’ Fingers, as well as my own frustration at trying to dispose of snippets of used embroidery floss in any sort of neat fashion, I made up my mind the other day that I wanted an orts jar.

“Ort” is a word defined by Merriam-Webster as “a morsel left at a meal : scrap.” The term has been appropriated by stitchers to refer to these little snippets of used thread and, in fact, some stitchers claim that “ORT” means Old Ragged Thread. I generally trust ol’ Merriam-Webster, but then again, I do like a good acronym so…it’s kind of a toss up.

Now, my orts jar is just getting started (I did, after all, only find the perfect jar just today), so it’s looking a little lonely, but more orts will be added daily!


My newborn orts jar. I've named it Judy (Get it??)


In other news, I finished the other project I mentioned in the last post–my witch hankie! She’s available now on etsy, and I’m pretty pleased with the way she turned out! Like my Dracula hankie, the design came from Sublime Stitching’s Zombies and Monsters pattern set.

I’ve also got several other projects underway, one of which is still hush-hush for the moment, but I promise to keep you all posted.

One more thing! I’d like to just quickly rave about a wonderful product: the Clorox bleach pen!!


The amazing bleach pen!


You might recall from a few posts ago that my sister and I had a little mishap with some wet yarn staining some blank tea towels. Despite repeated washings and bleachings in the washing machine, à la Lady Macbeth, those damned spots just would not come out! After fretting about the loss of perfectly good textiles, I finally followed a suggestion from my (always brilliant) sis and tried out one of these little babies. I’m not kidding you–it worked like a charm! I used the scrubby tip of the pen on the blue spots and let it sit for a few minutes, and when I came back, the spot was completely gone! Hallelujah! In short, if you’ve got spots on white stuff that aren’t coming out the normal way…spring for one of these puppies. The excitement you’ll feel at seeing something return to white when you’d never expected to see it spotless again is well worth the $3. Trust me.

Till later! xo